ANDALUCIA is expected to close its borders for this weekend. 

In a sharp U-turn, regional president Juanma Moreno revealed the measure in an interview this morning on Cope radio, saying all would be confirmed tomorrow.

It comes after vice president Juan Marin said there were no plans to close off the region following the declaration of the state of alarm on Sunday. 

“Honestly, with the data on hospitalisations and ICUs this morning, I do not think it is a good time for there to be a flow of people visiting the region,” president Moreno said this morning. 

“I am pessimistic about keeping the autonomous community open this weekend.”

This weekend is the All Saints bank holiday ‘puente’ weekend, making movement of people more likely. 

Moreno said the final decision will be made after listening to the committee of experts at a meeting Wednesday. 

The southernmost region will join five others in decreeing the closure of its borders following the declaration of a second nationwide state of alarm on Sunday. 

The move by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave autonomous communities legal cover to implement stronger restrictions on mobility due to a surge in coronavirus cases. 

In Andalucia, Moreno said he is concerned as hospitalisations are already similar to those in April ‘and the cold has not arrived yet’, nor the typical flu of autumn and winter. 

Andalucia has more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital, not far from the 2,800 seen at the peak of the first wave on March 30. 

On the 11pm to 6am curfew installed by the national government, Moreno said he would extend the starting time to midnight as requested by hoteliers ‘in various provinces.’ 

The president did not say which provinces would see their starting time delayed by an hour, but it is likely to be those with a lower incidence of the virus and with a heavy tourism trade, such as Malaga. 

Moreno also backed his party leader Pablo Casado in calling for the state of alarm to last for eight weeks instead of the proposed six months. 

“With a May 9 deadline we are not going to have Christmas, Easter or spring festivities,” he said, saying it is better to wait and see how the pandemic evolves. 

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